PNE 3 BLACKPOOL 3 LET there be no doubt, this was a local Derby match every bit as exciting as the scoreline suggests, providing white hot excitement for the full house that watched it at Deepdale.

Preston almost scored inside the first minute when a careless back pass by Tony Butler let in Mark Rankine, but the North End midfielder couldn't put the ball away.

Blackpool responded by going down to the other end of the park and opening the scoring.

Scott Taylor got some space on the left of goal and played in a cross which Preston should have cleared before Phil Clarkson made the contact to put Blackpool ahead.

Preston hit back with an effort from Rankine that Steve Banks turned around the post and David Eyres shot inches wide. Then on 23 minutes Preston drew level when Simon Davey put in a cross which went through a crowd of players to Eyres and the ex-Blackpool winger crashed the ball past Banks.

Just when it was looking to be level at the break, Blackpool scored a second on the stroke of half-time.

Moilanen dropped a cross and the ball went to the edge of the box where it was met by John Hills and he lashed the ball into the net to send Deepdale into a sea of tangerine colours.

An injury to Eyres forced Preston to change their formation at half-time to four, three, three with Nogan partnering Ashcroft and Macken in attack - and Preston were back level five minutes into the second half.

It was a carbon copy of Blackpool's second goal but this time Gary Parkinson struck an unstoppable shot high into the top corner to send the Town End wild.

Inspired by this goal, Preston threw everything into attack.

Mark Rankine hit a powerful shot which Banks spilled into the path of Jon Macken and he placed the ball into the far corner of the net for a fine goal and Deepdale was a cauldron of noise.

Preston looked to have the match won, the fans sang their songs and for the first time in the afternoon the Blackpool support was subdued.

Then came the equaliser.

Again there really didn't appear to be any danger as Lee Philpott went down the left flank.

He took Parkinson on and played in a cross which bobbled around inside the Preston area.

North End again failed to clear and in stepped Clarkson to knock the ball wide of Moilanen for his second.

Amazingly, both sides were urged on by their massive support and battled hard for a winner.

The pace of the game increased as crosses and shots flooded in from both teams.

But the defences remained calm under the enormous pressure and both held out for a 3-3 draw, which was a fitting and proper result on the day.

It was a spectacular entertainment played at a blistering pace throughout.

Although there wasn't a winner on the pitch, the winners were the people who paid to see it.

The fans will see out the rest of the season's matches, but when the fixtures for the next season are produced, the dates of the derby matches will be the first thing they look for.

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